APR 20th, 2013-Heard late evening yesterday that 1B Mark Threlkeld is getting his cast removed this weekend, and is due to return to the team early next week.
Threlkeld's cast is coming off significantly earlier than expected, and he will need a little time to test the waters where his forearm and wrist is concerned, but isn't expected to have significant issues once he hits the field.
|Antonio showing a characteristic |
(but controlled) aggressive swing
This may push current 1B Fred Ford back to RF, but would lead to quite a few less at-bats for Ethan Chapman, who is batting only .216 in 51 at-bats but also is second on the team with 9 SB. Playing Chapman off the bench might help him recover his batting average but could hurt the team in terms of on-base speed and runs. Plus, Chapman seems to cause a few headaches when he's on; he's an aggressive and smart base-runner who makes the most of his scoring opportunities.
In further updates:
3B Michael Antonio is tied for the team lead in BA but has drawn only one walk and scored just 2 runs. Expect this to turn around significantly, though he will also need to keep the Ks to a minimum.
SS Raul Mondesi is showing some pop, or at least enough to drive in 12 runs and lead the team in that category. Mondesi is also flashing enough glove to upholster a living room set, but he'll need to learn when not to attempt the play as well.
|Gore about to burn up a baseline|
LF Terrance Gore is...well, Terrance Gore. He's scored 12 runs, stolen 11 bases (including back-to-back swipes of 2nd and 3rd on more than one occasion), and covering approximately half our zip code in the field. He is tied with Antonio for the team lead in BA, and I expect that average to climb slowly in the next couple of weeks. I tend to gush over players like this; I won't apologize for it. If you haven't seen him play, why the heck not?
|Chapman in right field|
OF Ethan Chapman has been filling in at RF while Threlkeld has been out and Ford has been covering first (and covering it well). While Threlkeld's return will likely put Chapman on the bench, I wouldn't want to see his AB become limited; as mentioned, he's a valuable asset in the lineup. He's all-out in the field, runs the bases like a fugitive, hustles constantly...why wouldn't you want that?
|Gallagher talks it over with Brickhouse|
C Cameron Gallagher is on the pace I expected from him, while handling the staff as well as you'd like to see from a top catching prospect in your system. Of course, while Salvador Perez is in KC, whoever comes up behind him will likely be staying behind him. Barring another Perez injury, Gallagher may ultimately be trade bait or split time between catcher, first and DH. The latter would be preferable.
3B Adrian Morales may not be an offensive standout in this lineup, but he's someone I'd like to see more often. He appears to be a no-nonsense, blue-collar type, and we need more of those guys in baseball. In the coming weeks he's going to have to scrap for at-bats with IFs Nicholas Cuckovich and Yowill Espinal. Morales can cover second or third, which will help his cause, but Espinal could as well, and Espinal may have the better arm at third.
|Arteaga at the plate|
2B Humberto Arteaga is floundering at the plate, with 8 hits in 58 at-bats. Add to this no extra-base hits and 2 walks against 13 K and you've got an offensive offense. However, as stated previously, his glove is enough to get him in the lineup, and will continue to be. He will likely be the odd man out in late-inning pinch-hitter situations, with Morales subbing in for him.
As for pitchers (along with a few fun facts):
|RHP Daniel Stumpf|
LHP Daniel Stumpf has yet to allow an earned run in 10 innings (2 starts), striking out 9 and walking two. Batters are hitting .167 against him, thus far.
LHP Scott Alexander has basically been lights out in relief; in 4 games (13 innings) he's allowed a paltry 3 hits, while striking out a batter per inning and walking five. Opposing batters have one lone unearned run to show for their efforts. Bit o' Trivia: his brother, Stuart, pitched in the Marlins organization from 2004-2009.
LHP Colin Rodgers (yet another lefty) spun a stunner of a game yesterday. Rodgers went 7 shutout innings against Greenville, allowing only 2 hits, striking out 6 and walking one. In two of his three starts for Lexington this year, he's pitched near-scoreless ball (April 7th @ Augusta-5 IP, 3 H, 2 unearned runs; April 19th, as mentioned above). For those of you who weren't aware, Rodgers was drafted in the 3rd round last year out of high school. Definitely one to watch, this year.
RHP Cory Hall (Canadian, and thus a player I follow closely) has allowed 2 ER in 10 relief innings, so far. Hall played for Canada in the 2006 World Junior Baseball Championships, earning a bronze medal in the process. Not too shabby.
|Righty Daniel Hernandez warms up to go in|
RHP Daniel Hernandez is sporting a tidy 1.86 ERA in 9 2/3 relief innings, showing power pitcher potential. On April 10th at home vs Asheville, he went 2 2/3 innings, allowing 2 runs and walking three but sending five back to the bench on strikes. He K'd 3 in 2 shutout innings, last night. A 12th round draftee in 2010 out of Miami-Dade, he may prove to be a later-round steal (though he would be the last person to say that, being the modest and unassuming type).
|Have to say it: he's a Brick.....HOOOOUUUSE!|
RHP Bryan Brickhouse has been a solid starting presence, though the victim of defensive miscues on two of his three starts. In eight runs allowed thus far, only 5 were earned. One thing that catches my eye is his marked ground-ball tendencies (2.44 ground-outs for every one fly/airout). Brick struck out 7 in 4 innings @ Augusta on the 5th, and has kept his team in the game in all three of his starts, so far. He's a third round pick from 2011 out of high school, and was ranked KC's 17th best prospect going into 2012 by MLB.com.
RHP Christian “Toolman” Binford (Home Improvement?...Anyone?...) is also averaging a K per inning, and has done well spacing out opponents' hits (whatever that means; Like pitchers choose when to allow them and when to not?). The 6'6” righty gets lots of leverage off the mound and can put a fastball in on hitters before they realize it. A 30th round pick in 2011 out of high school, he threw a no-hitter in his very first HS start as a freshman in 2008.
That's it, for now. More photos to come, soon. Also, be sure to tune in to Kings of Kauffman for lots more Royals major and minor league updates, covered by better writers than me. Of course, they've been kind enough to take me in this year, so many of my updates will be on their site.